Heather R. Stace-Smith (author), Kenneth Pudlas (thesis supervisor), Katrina Korb (second reader), Julie Corkett (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Using a switching replications quasi-experimental design, this study investigated the effectiveness of the application Clicker Docs and tablet accessibility features as a 6 week alternating intervention tool for improving writing. Aspects of writing included writing quality, writing output, and attitudes of struggling writers. Two groups of 11 students from grades 2-7 who were identified with a disability or as a struggling writer, alternated participation in this intervention program. A mixed 2x2 repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with pre-test scores as covariate was used. Results showed a large significant effect on writing quality at Post-test 2. On average, those in the iPad intervention group demonstrated better writing quality than those in the control group. In addition, a medium significant effect was found for writing output. On average, those in the iPad intervention group wrote less overall than those in the control group. No effect was found for attitude towards writing.
Jasmine (Tsing) Lee (author), Ken Pudlas (thesis supervisor), David Carter (second reader), Grace Iarocci (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Deficit in social communication skills is common to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which hinders their social interaction with others. Bolton and Ault (2018) suggested a positive correlation between Autism diagnosis disclosure and positive social response in college students and adults. The current study investigated if similar results can be observed from younger participants. Forty-three participants from grades three to seven participated in this study. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to ascertain their social responses toward a peer who demonstrates ASD traits with or without an ASD diagnosis disclosure. Also, information about participants’ gender, grade level and empathy scores were collected and analysed. The result showed that the group which was disclosed to an ASD designation demonstrated more prosocial responses and less asocial responses. Although the difference was not statistically significant, this initial study suggested the possibility of a positive effect of ASD diagnosis disclosure.
Brendan Kwiatkowski (author), Allyson Jule (thesis supervisor), Janelle Kwee (second reader), Byle Frank (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Male adolescents who have behavioural needs are some of the most vulnerable students in schools today. To meet the pressing need of helping such students, a gender-conscious 9-session intervention course was developed and implemented by the researcher for nine grade 11 male students with behavioural needs for and at a public secondary school in British Columbia. Exit interviews with participants suggest that participants gained social and emotional insights via the intervention. Quantitatively, participants filled out the Gender Role Conflict Scale for Adolescents to self assess three variables associated with emotional health, while their teachers completed the Conners 3-TS to assess for two variables related to social health. Only one variable improved, Restricted Emotionality (p < .05), from the start to end of the intervention. Within this study’s ethnographic framework, the researcher’s interactions with the young men also revealed their frustrations regarding their feelings of being marginalized by educators in schools.
Kaitlyn G Born (author), Ken Pudlas (second reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution), David Carter (thesis supervisor), Ted Wormeli (external examiner)
Autism Spectrum Disorder has an increasing prevalence in children; diagnostic tools have become more refined and children are diagnosed younger. Parents of children with ASD learn to cope with challenges. It was hypothesized that many parents in the lower mainland of British Columbia are self-educating instead of learning from healthcare professionals. It was also hypothesized that parents are unaware of the resources available to them after receiving a diagnosis, and are therefore seeking help for their child and assembling services in much the same way they self-educated themselves. Eight families were interviewed about their experiences post-diagnosis. It was observed that families varied greatly in emotional response and were provided with information from a physician. However, few actually used the information provided to achieve a service assembly. This qualitative research revealed that families experience relational strain and parents desired a resources to guide, support, and educate them throughout their autism journey.
Katrina Korb (thesis supervisor), Angela C. Feyter (author), Lara Ragpot (external examiner), Kenneth Pudlas (second reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This study examined the impact of three math interventions on students with lower math abilities (LMA) in connection to their ability to gain number fact knowledge. Grade level was also used as a variable. Sixty-five students in Grades 2-6 participated in one of the following three interventions: drill-and-practice, strategy instruction and peer-mediated practice. At the end of 10 weeks, participants completed a number fact test that consisted of addition and multiplication statements. ANOVAs were used to analyze the results for each research question. Results demonstrated that the three interventions had no significant interaction effect on the number fact knowledge gained by the students with LMA. As well, students with LMA and without LMA benefitted equally from the interventions. It was also found that there was no significant interaction between the grade of the student and the intervention used. However, all students benefitted from all three interventions.
Adam Knowlson (author), David Carter (thesis supervisor), Ken Pudlas (second reader), Lily Dyson (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Scholars have posited that educating the “whole child,” includes teaching both social emotional learning (SEL) and academics. This study analyzed the relationship between two constructs of the social awareness SEL competency, theory of mind (ToM) and affective empathy, with academic achievement. Thirty-six participants in grades 4 to 6 from a public elementary school in British Columbia completed assessments of ToM and affective empathy, and results were compared with academic achievement. Multiple regression analysis revealed that neither ToM, nor affective empathy correlated with academic achievement in the total sample. In females, academic achievement positively correlated with ToM, B = .05, p = .04, as measured by interpretation of ambiguous stories (Bosacki, 1998). In males, academic achievement positively correlated with ToM, B = .06, p = .02, as measured by an eyes test (Baron-Cohen, Wheelright, Spong, Scahill, & Larson, 2001). Lastly, both measures of ToM positively correlated with affective empathy.
Catherine M. Lorenz (author), Kenneth Pudlas (thesis supervisor), Dave Carter (second reader), Christina Belcher (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
To be successful in school and in life students need to possess academic as well as social emotional competencies (Bridgeland, Bruce, & Hariharan, 2013; Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011; Zins & Elias, 2007). Academic skills include the ability to read, write and count whereas social and emotional competencies refer to skills that allow an individual to get along with others by being in control of their own behaviors (Zins & Elias, 2007). For social emotional and academic programming to be effective, schools need to have a data-driven system to facilitate and monitor student progress. A screening and progress monitoring system allows educators to pinpoint students who require targeted social emotional and/or academic learning opportunities and would inform on the effectiveness of intercessory programming. Such a system would ensure that students’ learning opportunities are optimally effective. Whereas academic assessments are plentiful, a stumbling block has been the lack of measurement tools for social emotional competencies, necessary for the identification of students in need of intervention (Maras, Thompson, Lewis, Thornburg, & Hawks, 2014; Nese et al., 2012). This study investigates the viability of utilizing an established measure of literacy skill, which is widely used in school systems, to provide insight into students’ social emotional competence. The author suggests that a reading fluency assessment may lend itself to inform on social emotional competence because both domains are processed in a similar area of the brain. The statistically significant results of the hierarchical regression analysis used in this study suggest that further research into measures of affective skills should explore the correlation between academic skills and social emotional competency.